Launched in 2007, the Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) serves as a model for rethinking philanthropy in Forsyth County’s Black community. Through engagement and encouragement, BPI educates people to utilize their philanthropic strengths of time, talent, and treasure to impact meaningful change and address identified needs in the Black community.
The Black Philanthropy Initiative is led by a group of community volunteers who acknowledge the traditions of sharing in the Black community and seek to expand charitable giving through education and impact.
The Black Philanthropy Initiative offers two types of grants.
BPI’s Impact Grants are investments in local programs, projects, and initiatives that support issues impacting Black communities in Forsyth County. In particular, this program is looking to invest in Black-led organizations/groups with annual budgets of less than $150,000, recognizing that there are local groups/organizations doing impactful work that are newer and/or have smaller budgets than their counterparts.
BPI will offer another Impact Grant round in summer 2021.
BPI’s traditional grantmaking round has a primary focus of Advancing Racial Equity in Education. In April 2020, BPI postponed its spring grant cycle, instead making direct investments to local schools to address equity issues around remote student learning, recognizing that technology and Internet access have become a heightened equity issue with the closing of schools.
For the November 2020 grant cycle, BPI requested proposals that work toward its focus area of Advancing Racial Equity in Education so that Black students and graduates can gain access, advance, and have the support needed to thrive. This focus area comes from the data in BPI’s 2018 Rethinking Philanthropy report, which reveals how systemic inequities have disproportionately affected the Black population in Forsyth County.
Rethinking Philanthropy: An Exploration of Black Communities in Forsyth County was published by BPI in 2018. This report draws attention to Black history in Forsyth County and its direct influence on systemic issues and inequities still prevalent in our community today.
Whatever it Takes: Supporting Our Students & Educators of Color
BPI's virtual fundraising event took place on Thursday, October 15. Watch the recording to learn about BPI's work and hear a panel discussion on education.
The Black Philanthropy Initiative would not be able to do its work without the involvement of active volunteers who serve on committees. Volunteers are invited to become involved on a BPI subcommittee including Community Engagement, Grants, Governance, or Resource Development. Email Shamika Starke to get engaged.
Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Fund support grantmaking to organizations that address racial equity in education in Forsyth County.
Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment will support BPI's efforts in perpetuity—to further support, educate, and engage the greater community in cultivating philanthropic solutions to address identified needs in the Black community.